Belarus leader denounces EU sanctions over plane diversion

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Belarus’ authoritarian president has lashed out at Europe for trying to “strangle” his country with sanctions over the diversion of a passenger jet. On Wednesday, he accused a dissident journalist arrested after the flight landed in Minsk of working to foment a “bloody rebellion.” President Alexander Lukashenko defended his decision to tell a Ryanair flight to land in his country, maintaining his contention that there was a bomb threat against it. European Union leaders have denounced the move as an act of piracy. The plane was searched after landing, and no bomb was found. But Raman Pratasevich, a journalist and activist, was detained.